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Aquino lightly scolds officials for power lack in Cateel

/ 02:28 PM February 24, 2014

President Benigno Aquino III. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines – President Benigno Aquino III was in good spirits on Monday when he faced the residents of Cateel, Davao Oriental, to check on their situation after the devastation of Typhoon “Pablo” (international name: Bopha).

He said at first he thought they were at the wrong place.

“Talagang nagbabalik na ang normalidad sa inyong lalawigan. Ibang-iba na ito sa nakita nating sitwasyon matapos ang paghagupi ng bagyong Pablo,” he said, smiling.

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(The province is indeed back to normal. The situation is very different to what happened after the onslaught of typhoon Pablo.)

But that did not stop the President from lightly scolding his officials for failing to restore power in some areas of the province since Pablo hit the country in December 2012.

“Ako’y nagulat na meron pa palang lugar dito na hindi pa nababalik ang kuryente. Tapos ang sagot sa akin meron na pong pending request ang NEA (National Electrification Administration). Sagot ng DBM (Department of Budget and Management) wala ho sa aming request. Tinatatanong ko ngayon ang DOE (Department of Energy) nasan ba talaga ang request na iyan?” Aquino recounted to the residents.

(I was surprised to learn that electricity is yet to be restored in some places here. The National Electrification Administration said they already have a pending request. But the Department of Budget and Management said the request is not with them. Now I am asking the Department of Energy where the request is.)

He was greeted with applause after saying that he already talked to Budget Secretary Florencio Abad and Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla about the matter.

“Bago ako umalis sa Cateel kailangan ko ng sagot na matino at maayos. Talaga naman pong tayo’y bihirang mawalan ng pasensya, wag sana nilang subukan,” the President said in jest.

(Before I leave Cateel, I need a proper answer. I hope they don’t test my patience.)

For the rest of his speech, Aquino painted a rosy picture of how the area has recovered from the effects of past calamities. He mentioned the cash-for-work scheme of the government that benefited 57,890 individuals.

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He said the government will make sure that things change for the better in areas hit by the previous disasters.

Cateel is only one of the several areas Aquino is set to visit this week, coinciding with the commemoration of the 28th anniversary of the Edsa People Power. He is expected to inspect bunkhouses in Loon, Bohol on Monday afternoon.

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TAGS: cateel town, Davao Oriental, News, power, president Aquino iii, Typhoon Pablo
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